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How are you documenting lockdown life? Organisations in Jersey want to know

Many people are recording life in the lockdown and how coronavirus has impacted on their lives. Credit: Gillian Williamson/Zuma Press/PA Images

Organisations in Jersey have been asking islanders to tell them how they are recording life in the lockdown for future historical records.

Jersey Heritage is running a project to catalogue people's experiences of life through the coronavirus crisis at the Jersey Archive and they want islanders to send them all kinds of items that symbolise the period.

The organisation would like anything from written extracts in diaries and blog posts to videos, artwork and pictures.

We can document the official government response to the pandemic, but we need the community’s help to record how it is affecting people, whether as an individual, a family, a business or a section of the community.

– Linda Romeril, Jersey Heritage’s Director of Archives & Collections

The organisation is asking people to consider the following options when sending in documents or items:

  • Personal experience: how have you adapted to life, work, shopping? How do you interact with friends and family and share your news and views? How are you keeping yourself entertained? How are you taking exercise?
  • Community experience: how is the community changing? What is happening to public gatherings of different types? How are businesses adapting and developing?
  • Material culture: how are objects and digital communications reflecting the changing experience? What new things are being invented?
  • Communications: how are you getting your daily news and information? What has changed in the way you access this information?
  • A changing experience: how is the experience of coronavirus changing as the virus spreads across the world? How have your feelings changed as you navigate through this experience? How has what’s happened with the world and with other Crown Dependencies shaped your experience?

For anyone looking to participate in the project, they are being asked to submit their records by emailing DocumentingNow@jerseyheritage.org. You can also email the address to arrange to hand over content in person when Jersey Archive re-opens.

Many people have already been sending in their experiences including fitness videos like Jane Kiddie doing her Zumba class from home:

Société Jersiaise are running a similar scheme and asking islanders to send in photographs to depict life through the lockdown. They want to build a photographic archive of portraits and observations which include the small details of reality now and how these changes are affecting the life of islanders.

Société Jersiaise has already received some photos from islanders and how life as changes immeasurably. Credit: Sarah Martinez

They say that everyone’s experience is relevant to understanding the crisis, whether it is those working on the frontline or trying to balance family and work commitments at home.

We have a unique opportunity to archive this experience for future generations to understand how self-isolation feels, what social distancing looks like, and how the community came together to get through some of the most restrictive measures ever introduced in peacetime. It’s at times like these that the personal becomes universal.

– Patrick Cahill, Photo Archivist & Executive Editor at the Société
Many kitchen tables across the island and the world are now multi-tasking as classrooms. Credit: Sarah Martinez

Full details on how to submit your photos to Société Jersiaise can be found on their website.

WATCH Liam McConkey's report here:

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